Monday, March 27, 2023

Mulgrew Writes About Health Care. Everything is Great.

I was fortunate enough to get the first draft of the email Michael Mulgrew sent to members today. For some reason, I didn't ever get the actual email. Go figure. Well, I've only been a UFT member for 38 years, 12 as chapter leader of the most overcrowded school in the city. Maybe I'm just not on the list yet.

UPDATE: Daniel Alicea told me I could change my contact preferences in the UFT Member Hub. I checked and found I was unsubscribed to emails, though I had received UFT emails for years and never unsubscribed myself. I checked subscribe, so I hope that works.  

UPDATE 2: I've now received a threatening letter from a law firm contending this is "impersonation" rather than parody.  I've removed the digital signature as a result. I've left the rest of the piece.


Dear Duespayer,

We  (notice, as President, I refer to myself in the royal we) are writing to give you an update on our in-service health care. All of our members have and will continue to have access to premium-free health care. The quality of this health care may not be all that great, but on the bright side, cutting costs and services saves Eric Adams a shit ton of money.

As you know, the UFT is one of the few teachers' unions in the country that still offers premium-free health care coverage for members. Sure, it costs you 100 bucks to go to an urgent care or get an MRI, and if I had my way it would be 400. But you're not paying a premium, and that's what you need to focus on. Remember when I told you that if we didn't change 12-126 you'd all pay $1500 a year? Well, we were blocked from doing that, and you now know, I was lying to scare you into doing what I wanted. I wanted to save the choice of decent care for those who could afford it, like my privileged and elite BFFs, but it didn't work out, so the hell with all of you.

It is our (royal we again) strong belief that an employer should not be negotiating our health benefits with insurance providers unless we are at the table. That is why WE are always at the table. YOU are not at the table, because we do this with MLC, where I get to vote and YOU do not. So if you don't like my our decisions, too bad for you. As a matter of fact, we just dumped all the retirees into a Medicare Advantage program, and man are they pissed! In fact, they're circulating a petition demanding a voice in these negotiations. Bastards.

This year, when deciding whether or not to renew our current in-service GHI CBP health care plan, the Municipal Labor Committee, along with the city, put out a request for proposals (RFP). You see, in 2018, we agreed to save the city 600 million dollars a year forever. For that, we got a three year contract around cost of living. That was a fantastic deal, even though it turns out forever is a little bit longer than three years. Anyhoo, while your copays have exploded, at least you aren't paying a premium. Focus on that. Look at it this way--if you never go to a doctor, this won't cost you ANYTHING. Woo hoo!

We just completed negotiations with Aetna on a new health care plan for all Medicare-eligible city retirees that preserves our retirees’ premium-free health care, lowers their out-of-pocket costs and improves their benefits. Well, lower until we figure a way restore copays and increase charges, at least. Sure, they no longer have as wide a choice of doctors. Sure, if they live in a dead zone they're screwed. Sure, Aetna can decide they don't need some procedures they actually do need and oh well, they don't get them. But I'm saving a TON of cash for Eric Adams, and isn't it your PATRIOTIC DUTY as a union member to save money for our employer?

We will continue to keep you updated as negotiations proceed, and we won’t stop working to ensure that Eric Adams can afford to continue paying police double their allotted overtime. Or we could just enforce an existing tax on Wall Street. But why get all persnickety over that stuff when we can just cut back on your health care instead? Also, we're working hard to get you a new contract that will provide you about a third of the 8.7% cost of living increase.  And that ALSO saves money for Eric Adams!

And if you don’t like that, tough noogies. 

Your pal,

Micheal Mulgrew


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